I cannot begin to imagine the pushes and pulls that any governor faces in establishing his or her priorities in a state’s budget, but especially for a state as large and complex as Ohio, with the seventh largest population and, literally, one of the largest economies in the world. The needs are enormous, so I’m always appreciative when a governor chooses to prioritize spending that will benefit a small college like Southern State Community College and the students we serve.
In our state’s most recent capital budget, which funds the bricks-and-mortars needs of our state and communities, Gov. Mike DeWine proposed funding to help improve safety on the state’s college and university campuses. I’ve been here almost 12 years now and this is the very first time during my tenure that a governor has recognized the need to make this a priority. My hat goes off to Gov. DeWine for proposing this as a spending priority and to our members of the General Assembly who voted to approve it.
Last week, I was notified that Southern State had been awarded $149,400 in Campus Safety Grant funds. These funds will be utilized to purchase equipment that will enhance safety of our physical campuses. We are blessed to live and work in a safe community, but we know that threats exist and it is always our responsibility to be thinking ahead in order to keep our students, faculty and staff safe. This new funding will give us needed resources to do that.
We are truly appreciative of the commitment of our Gov. Mike DeWine and the Chancellor for Higher Education Randy Gardner and their efforts to make sure small rural schools like Southern State don’t take a back seat. We thank you.
Kevin Boys is the president of Southern State Community College.